My parents are coming tomorrow to Sungai Petani to pick me up and we’ll be heading to Penang after that. Plus my Aunty Susie, Uncle Alex, Aunty Judy, Uncle Terry and my cousin Shevie. NOooo..
Well, it’s good and bad. Good because I can spend time with my family in Penang but I’m quite worried about what they might say about my squalid living conditions. Damn, I’ve always wanted to use that word. Squalid. Squalid. Squalid.
My Aunty Susie especially, her house is squeaky clean. I am VERY sure that she will be the first to tell me off for the cobwebs hanging from every corner of the house.
I’m actually feeling slightly stressed out about my entire family coming t pay this rented home of mine a visit. Upon stepping out of the car, they would see a towering papaya tree and at the bottom of the tree, there is a brown indistinguishable mass. They might be able to make out the faint outline of a papaya that dropped back in December. But that has probably decomposed, turned into gas and disappeared forever. Maybe it’s the papaya from March. They will try to avoid the freshly dropped papaya and one them would scream when they realise that some of the papaya splattered onto the gate’s handle as well.
As they walk up to the front door, they will try to squeeze past the hanger and the wall, trying very hard to stay away from the wall because god knows what stains they’ll pick up.
They will then proceed to think twice about where to leave their shoes because the place to leave shoes is covered in dried leave. If they are lucky, it’ll be dried. Kedah rains alot these days and the ceiling above the place-to-leave-shoes leaks whenever it rains. You do the maths. I’ve lost many delivered newspapers thanks to this.
They would then turn their lips down in disgust when they turn the handle of the door. Wait, no, they will first adopt a puzzled look and ask, “Where’s the door handle?” and I would laugh and say, “Oh, hahaha, Lie Yuen broke it a couple of months back,”.
One of them would probably close the door and then let out a scream. “OMFG What the hell is that thing??”
I would wave my hand dismissively at the clay looking brown lump with eight holes on the side of the grill and say, “It’s nothing lah, just a wasp nest that has been there since I moved in,”.
Noticing that my family members were coming into my house barefooted, I would say, “Aiyaaa.. should’ve told you all to bring extra slippers..” as I slip comfortably into my pink and blue Hawaianas flip flops.
They would then peer around. They would see a table in the middle of the living room and notice a suspicious looking grey stain which looks suspiciously like glue dragged about a bit of dirt. A lone dusty tv sits in the corner of the living room with long forgotten dvds littered on top of the long forgotten dvd player.
My mother would then head towards a pile of old newspaper and help me to arrange it.
They would then want to check out the kitchen. On their way to the kitchen, they would pass by a long cobweb cleaner leaning against the wall. There are enough cobwebs on the brush to make a dress.
Upon entering the kitchen, one of them would nag me about cleaning the lizard shit from the stove. Another would tell me to put my cereal boxes on the cupboard, not on the floor. The rest of them didn’t dare to come into the kitchen. “There are alot of colours on your floor…scared la. And they are not colours from the rainbow,” one of them would observe and say. I would tell them that that is true. I was cleaning the kitchen yesterday with an old dusty broom(I was probably cleaning the house using the static gathered from compact dustbunnies.. more dustbunnies than brush bristles to do the cleaning for me.) and when I dragged it around the dustbin, I could see moisture trails around the dustbin and made a mental note to clean it….sometime in the next…… well, sometime.
One of them would then peer into the ‘wet kitchen area’ and ask if it’s possible to utilize the toilet. I would tell them that it’s not okay. They would agree when they see the caked mud on the basin and the dead cockroach on the floor.
All of us would then head upstairs. They would follow my footsteps by taking really small steps and not taking wide steps, for fear that their feet would pick up cobwebs and dustbunnies from the sides of each step.
Upon reaching the landing, they would notice dead rose petals on the floor outside one of my housemates’ room. One of their toes would crunch it and dust would stick to their toes. I would ask them to rub their feet on my floormat but their feet would only get blacker from there.
My father would look at the graffiti I did with the pens on my bedroom door and he would scold me. I would then introduce him to the wonders of Water Based Fluorescent Markers.
They will come into my room and shake their head and say, “No difference from the one in Subang,”. I would smile in agreement and close the door. One of their handphones would ring and they would want to go out to take the call. He or she would then proceed to open the cupboard door by mistake. -_-. Takkanlah my mess is so bad until they can’t even find the door?
One of them would proclaim, “WAH! All your clothes are on the floor. Are they all dirty?”
“Nolah, of course not! That pile is the dirty clothes one, that other pile there on the bean bag is the clean clothes one!” I would say as if it’s the most natural thing in the whole world.
I would then use my feet to kick the magazines, newspapers, notes, files, bags, plastic bags, toiletries, weighing scale, printer, soft toys aside just to make way for my family to walk about or sit. If they dare.
My cousin Shevie would make her way to a pile of chick lits stacked up on top of my cardboard boxes. My Aunty Susie would tut at her and say, “She-Vie!!(only family members know how this sounds like. Can imagine how it’s said ar, Mervyn? Hahaha.) Don’t touch those books! It’s dusty!!” and Shevie would make her way back to the tiny clean spot she found on the corner of my bed.
One of them would then finally get to use the toilet and pities me when they learn that Lie Yuen and I make do with a rubber hose connected to the pipe to bathe with and tell my dad that it’s high time I get a shower plus heater installed. Yes, yes, that’s a good plan. When he or she decides to flush the toilet, he or she would be horrified by the stains(they are not shit stains. Just brown and black. Not shit. Really. I know.) forming a ring at the bottom of the toilet. I’d shrug and say, “No idea. It just became like that after awhile,” when they asked me what it was.
… yeap. Now you can see why I’m more than a little dubious about having my family to come see this..er….thing that I live in.
Ooh! It was Lie Yuen’s birthday yesterday. She’s growing so fast! Such a big girl now.. I can still remember the time when she was a little girl. Time really flies. *wipes tears from eyes* My Lie Yuen, all grown up now. 22 years old now. She’s also very clever! She can recite all the anticholinergic drugs now! I’m so proud of her. She’s a very bright child. Sigh, kids these days are growing so fast, it’s only yesterday I remember seeing her driving to college in her dad’s Waja. Memories. *hand touches chest-you know, where the heart should be that part-*
After class, we celebrated Lie Yuen’s birthday. That’s Jamie next to her.
This photo is up because I like the glow of the candles. Yes, we were singing the happy birthday song at that time.
You can see she’s really happy. She’s doing the sea lion clap thing.
Awww! Such a nice photo. Who take one who take one who take one? Faster say who take one! 😀
Her mum called her up and asked, “Why all girls ar at your birthday dinner?” Hahahhaa.
L-r: Cze-Yin, Jamie, Lie Yuen, Nien, Zhu Zen, Brenda, 48% of me, Sock Nee and Wuan Phing.
A nicer(Read: Jolene is visible) photo taken by Cze-Yin.